Chauvin Trial: Act Two
A Wednesday for the Defense
OH MY Goodness!
So I opened up the trial today and the Defense is examining their witness who is an expert on carbon monoxide... this argument is that Floyd died because Chauvin held his head near the tail pipe of the squad car. Like... how is his better for Chauvin?
Jury: So holding him down near the tail pipe killed him?
Defense: Yes! It wasn’t the knee on the neck!
Jury: *looks at each other* But it was still Chauvin’s actions that were the cause of death!
This witness is saying that when you have two knees on a body on the ground as much as 23% of the police officer’s weight can be transferred. Now these tests were done with dummies, not real people... maybe because they’d be uncomfortable and dangerous? Probably easier to measure with a dummy too. So 35lbs is what this witness is saying was on Floyd... I’m pretty sure I’d die if someone put 35 pounds directly on my neck for nearly ten minutes.
I wonder if Defense would like to demonstrate how this restraint would not cause problems? The courtroom floor is much nicer than asphalt.
This witness, still the same witness, described hypoxia as a slowly losing consciousness... a grey curtain falling, visual impairments, hard to breath, confusion, “Mama!”
OH! And it just came through that the officer who shot Duante Wright will be charged with second degree manslaughter.
And back to the trial! It turns out if you are forced to face a phobia, it’ll drive up your heart and respiratory rate. Just now he said, that carbon monoxide is usually an accident, but someone was holding him there, so that could be elevated to a homicide. Complicating factors... “Being restrained in a very stressful situation....” So there were lots of contributing causes. I bet when the prosecution cross-examines they ask if Floyd had not been restrained in that manner and denied basic first aid, would have survived the day and the answer will be yes... so much for undetermined.
Then there was a lunch break! President Biden is ending the war in Afghanistan. The longest war, but also the quietest war.
In the cross-examination
We came back into the trial while it was already in setting. The first exchange I saw:
Prosecution: It is essential to breathing that the chest cavity be able to expand to breath. Is that correct?
Oh my goodness, I love the prosecution! All of them.
This witness had been like... died of a heart arrhythmia, so many causes, too hard to tell why he really died.
Prosecution: “Aren’t we all going to die of a heart arrhythmia, because that’s how we all go, is that correct?”
Expert Witness: “.... yes.”
So Prosecution holds up a textbook on forensic pathology... witness agrees to that he as read it and that it’s a reliable book.
This witness had testified that there were no bruising on Floyd, making a subtle case that the pressure could not have been that much from Chauvin.
So the prosecution is reading to him from the textbook that he was trained from. Oooh! He’s about to quote another reliable textbook! On page 354, from Knights Forensic Pathology. Prosecution is taking this doctor to SCHOOL! :)
Prosecution: So these studies you referenced never went as long as 9 minutes 29 seconds?
Witness: That’s true.
Also, this witness *clears throat* forgot to include the weight of Chauvin’s police equipment, which is quite a bit more weight than just the man.
Oh boy! This part is not good for the defense! The defense’s witness just agreed that Floyd should have been given medical care long before he was, like you know, as soon as it was clear he needed it. I remember the firefighter begging them to let her help.
In this moment, my favorite phrase is, “Isn’t it true, Dr. Fowler?”
So to summarize, the defense brought in a forensic pathologist who suggested carbon monoxide might have had something to do with Floyd’s death, that the way a heart shudders when it stops had something to do with Floyd’s death (though he later admitted everyone will have that as they die...), but it definitely wasn’t Chauvin’s weight on his neck for nine minutes that did it. The jury didn’t get to hear that this doctor is currently being sued for helping a different police department cover up some nasty stuff either. The prize of the day was when prosecution held up a common forensic pathology textbook, got the doctor to admit he knew it, read it, respected it... then read the relevant passage back to him, page 354, which blew holes all through the doctor’s testimony.
That’s how to properly school someone.
About the author
I write a lot of lgbt+ stuff, lots of sci fi. My big story right now is The Moon's Permission.
I've been writing all my life. Every time I think I should do something else, I come back to words.